Blind Outraged Over Government Appeal of Access Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 2011

Blind Canadians are outraged over the federal government’s decision to file an appeal regarding the federal court decision that was handed down by
Justice Kelen on November 29, 2010 regarding a charter challenge filed by Donna Jodhan of Toronto.

“I and other blind Canadians were elated by the ruling in this important access decision,” said Robin East, President of the nationwide Alliance for
Equality of Blind Canadians. “But now we are outraged by the government’s decision to appeal this landmark decision,” added East.

The court found in favor of Ms. Jodhan and gave the government 15 months to meet its legal responsibilities to make its websites accessible. The court
also took the unusual, though not unprecedented, and unfortunately all too necessary step of including a provision in the decision whereby the court
would monitor the Government’s compliance with the ruling.

“Why is the federal government that talks a lot about improving access and helping to bring Canadians with disabilities into the mainstream about to
waste additional thousands of dollars of taxpayers dollars fighting against that same access that was ordered in the Jodhan case?” asks East. “Why isn’t it going to use this money to make access to government information a reality for all, as was ordered by the court decision?

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Founded in 1992, the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is a national organization of blind, deaf-blind, and partially sighted Canadians,
whose work focuses on improving public attitudes and providing input in to
public policy issues that affect our lives. For further information on the AEBC’s work, please visit our website, www.blindcanadians.ca.

For interviews, please contact:

Robin East, AEBC President: 306-934-1547
John Rae, AEBC First Vice President: 416-941-1547